Photo detail

The first car came to Payson in 1916, but by 1918, as evidenced above, there were enough in town to create an arena for the August rodeo.

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First car in town in 1916; lined Main in 1918

Walter Lovelady recalled that Jesse “Jess” Chilson brought the first car into Payson in 1916. It was a Marmon and was considered the “Cadillac” of the day. Jess drove his car up the Apache Trail from Phoenix, across Roosevelt Dam and followed the road along the south side of Roosevelt Lake that had been used by freighters during the building of the dam.


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